Informing Contexts - Hunter or Farmer
Without doubt I consider myself to be a farmer. I build my images from concept to print. Deciding how I will light it, composition, costume, who the model will be just for start. What am I trying to say? Well being frank, before I started the MA I had no reason why, I just took pretty photos of kids, and called them art. The development of my practice has seen me change dramatically, in that I think of my photography in bodies of work as opposed to single images at the moment, unless it is one offs, I try and find links to them. Jeff Wall has been described as 'a painter of modern life', which much like my work, his work may seem a little misleading. However it does emphasise the ambitions he held for his photography, influenced by Old Masters such as Diego Velazquez, Francisco Goya and significantly, French artist, Edouard Manet.
Jeff Wall has described his photograph, 'Picture for Women' as a remake of Manet's 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergére, 1882'. He likened this to the same way a movie might remake an older version - using new technologies with updated twists.Both works initially appear to be straightforward recordings of a scene. However, Manet's painting - the subject of much debate - is full of ambiguity. Questions hover over the seemingly inaccurate reflections, and the direction of eye-contact between barmaid and customer, but also, significantly, with us too, the viewer. Wall's response continues these themes of how we see and record. Like Manet, his work is suggestive of a documentary approach, but in truth both have produced highly calculated studio responses.
Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergére, 1882 A Picture for Women, 1979, Jeff Wall
Both works become about the sensation of sight and the mysteries of representation.